Steam-Bent and Rolling Through A Garden Near You


According to our calendars, summer is almost over. Kids are returning home from camp, school supplies are being purchased and I’m wondering where the time goes.

Want your summer to last forever? The Rolling Summer House may be just what this doctor ordered. It’s a huge spherical structure constructed of unseasoned wood (from local, sustainable forests) that is curved via an eco-friendly process called “steam-bending”.

Charlie Whinney, of the UK based Charlie Whinney Associates, is known for his unusual furniture and sculptures and he’s the master of the innovative art of steam-bent wood.

He designed the Rolling Summer House using this low energy technique which produces almost no waste. He didn’t use any epoxy resins, glues or sealants – it’s amazing, actually, that the entire thing doesn’t explode.

The “house” has a cozy interior cave-like space – perfect for relaxing or reading – surrounded by an outer layer of thin strands of wood. And imagine this: it can be rolled around by two adults without hurting the lawn, as well as stay firmly in place (using three sturdy legs) and act as a jungle gym for kids to climb all over.

A private space in your garden, a piece of organic outdoor sculpture, a climbing structure for young children – the Rolling Summer House was designed with a year-long summer in mind.


See this and Whinney’s other steam-bent creations and collaborative projects on the temporary website. The Fountain Bench is particularly stunning. Or go to to order one of his “signature pieces” – the fantastic Curly Shade or Giant Curly Shade pendant lights ($500 and $990 respectively).

Whinney constantly pushes the steam-bent envelope and will introduce a new group of products – Fragmented Factories – during the London Design Festival, 13 to 23 September. Email for prices and commission requests.

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